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From the Commons to Lord's

Adam Mountford Adam Mountford | 11:36 UK time, Monday, 7 July 2008

Already this season on Test Match Special we have been joined in the commentary box by a man who has played the part of the Prime Minister, by a singer who has performed in front of the Prime Minister, and by someone who has been sacked by the Prime Minister. Well at Lord's this week we are going to be joined by a man who wants to be the next Prime Minister.

After Baroness Amos, the former leader of the House of Lords, soprano Lesley Garrett and actor Robert Bathhurst, David Cameron will be the latest "View from the Boundary" at Lord's during the lunch interval on Friday.

In fact we have two "Views" this Test match, as we did for the corresponding game last summer when radio and TV personality Nicolas Parsons and Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe both chatted to Aggers during the Lord's Test against India. And our second "View from the Boundary" for this game should also be a fascinating guest.

Back in 1963 Baron Joel Joffe was a young defence solicitor so dismayed by the apartheid system of his native South Africa that he was on the brink of emigrating. But he was then asked to take over the defence of a group of ANC activists including a man called Nelson Mandela. It was a trial which gripped the world and Joffe will have an amazing story to tell us when he joins us at lunch time on Saturday.

Joffe and Cameron are not the only interesting names in the commentary box for this Lord's Test. At tea on Thursday impressionist and cricket enthusiast Rory Bremner will be with us to have a chat about the oldest and most famous cricket charity - the Lord's Taverners - and during the tea interval on Saturday colourful football manager Neil Warnock will be our guest. Warnock is a huge cricket fan, but this will be his first visit to Lord's and it will be fascinating to hear what he makes of the home of cricket.

We will also be debating a variety of issues. ECB chairman Giles Clarke will be joining us during the tea interval on Friday and I am sure he will have lots to tell us about his recent week in Dubai where the subject of Zimbabwe dominated the ICC Board meeting. It is also exactly a year to go before the first Test of the 2009 Ashes will be played in Cardiff and we will be discussing the state of the England team with 12 months to go. As always, we want you to get involved in all our debates. You can e-mail us, text 84040 or contribute to this blog. Also on Sunday you'll have the chance to phone into Test Match Special and talk to the commentators.

By the way, our team at Lord's will be led, of course, by cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, joined by Christopher Martin Jenkins and Mark Pougatch. Mark has been involved with the BBC Cricket team for many years, but this will be his first Test match commentary for TMS. Mark plays cricket for the wonderfully named Grannies CC, a club he tells me "was started by my father 52 years ago after a particularly good lunch". Mark describes himself as a "noisy, erratic wicketkeeper and an exceptionally average batsman".

Well if Mark is looking for any advice on batting he could do worse than chat with the legendary Geoff Boycott who will be leading our team of expert summarisers at Lord's. Providing the South African viewpoint will be their former captain Shaun Pollock who, I am delighted to say, will be joining us in the TMS box for the rest of the summer. Pollock will not only be able to give us an insight from the 108 Tests he played over a glittering 12-year career for his country, he is still playing the game for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL and for Durham. Completing our team will be two bowlers who know Lord's especially well: former Middlesex men Mike Selvey and Phil Tufnell.

It's certainly been an interesting experience sharing a commentary box with Tuffers this summer - among the many highlights was when Henry Blofeld told him that he was "mathematically incontinent" after Tufnell told him his highest first class score was "67 - all in fours"

Bill Frindall will be keeping a close eye on Tufnell's arithmetic as he returns to the scorer's seat after his break during the NatWest Series and Alison Mitchell returns as the TMS reporter keeping us up to date with events out and about. As well as her updates on TMS Alison will also be providing her "blog from the boundary" - all the details here at

As well as TMS commentary, BBC 5 Live will have updates every 15 minutes with Pat Murphy and England's most capped player Alec Stewart, Newsbeat's David Garrido will be at Lord's providing updates for Radio 1 and if you can't listen to our coverage you can still follow all the action with the TMS text commentary.

And at the end of each day's play don't miss Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's review on 5 Live which you can then download as part of the TMS Podcast including player interviews.

Our coverage of the First Npower Test starts at 1045 BST on Thursday on 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW and online. And if you can't wait as long as that for live cricket don't miss our coverage of the quarter-finals of the Twenty20 Cup starting on Monday at 1700 BST for Durham against Yorkshire and then Essex against Yorkshire. On Tuesday its Middlesex v Lancashire at the Oval from 1730 BST and then Warwickshire against Kent from 1730 BST on Wednesday.


  • Comment number 1.

    Pollock is such a legend. Nice coup.

  • Comment number 2.

    Good to see Tuffers hanging around. One of the best moments in TMS in recent years was the climax of th ODI at the Oval, with Tuffers thinking England had won.

  • Comment number 3.

    Test matches are becoming boaring.

  • Comment number 4.

    Full of excited anticipation ahead of this match and series. Should be closely contested. Fascinating to see how it unfolds....the beauty of Test match cricket !
    Good luck to all...including the commentary team. Prediction....England 1 South Africa 1.

  • Comment number 5.

    Is it any coincidence that someone who finds Test matches boring can't spell 'boring'?

  • Comment number 6.

    Where the hell is Blowers?

  • Comment number 7.

    I like the way you placed a hyperlink on the words "Nelson Mandela" like he was some unknown character. When I saw that, I thought maybe it linked to an interesting page detailing how the lives of Mr. Mandella and Mr. Joffe intertwined, but no, it links to Thanks for the history lesson.

  • Comment number 8.

    In reply to post number 6.
    Henry Blofeld will be back at Leeds for the Second Test. He was unavailable for this game due to a long standing family commitment.
    Thanks for your interest

  • Comment number 9.

    Looking forward to this test, in particular the brilliant banter that is produced when Tuffers and Boycott are anywhere near one another. If it were up to me I'd have them mic'd up for the duration of the match!

  • Comment number 10.

    As an England fan, I'm glad that the lure of Sky money and IPL money has kept Pollock out of the South African team; he would have improved their already impressive bowling attack and added depth to the batting.

  • Comment number 11.

    Looks like a good line up. Looks like it'll be needed for the rain breaks. :(

  • Comment number 12.

    Forget Zimbabwe. The item that annoyed contributors to this board the most was the shameful changing of the result of the Pakistan Oval Test match. You could put to Giles Clarke that the majority of English cricket followers are against this move and that he should have reflected this. Well done to Michael Holding for sticking to his principles.

  • Comment number 13.

    Good news that you have got Pollock, though I understand he is also commentating for Sky! Judas!

    Given the options made available through digital media cant we have a channel with just Tuffers and a few cans of beer - you might have to give it an 18 rating, but it would be worth it!

  • Comment number 14.

    Why am I away from the UK for the whole summer? I'm so looking forward to this Test series and the TMS box will be as lively as ever! Why can't the BBC broadcast TMS to outside the UK? I would have no problem at all paying a subscription just to get TMS wherever in the world I am. Hope England win but am really scared of Steyn. He will probably tear the England batting apart and that will hurt a lot. But hopefully Vaughan and co raise their game and then play consistently...

  • Comment number 15.

    Dear Adam,
    Congratulations on generally keeping up the high standards of TMS . The core trio of JA , CMJ and Henry are the best broadcasters on BBC sport and need to be on together as often as possible . Contributions from Vic Marks , G Boycott and G Gooch are also to be treasured .
    May I , however , request no more Phil Tufnell ?He seems to be omnipresent and I am sure there are numerous ex players who could do the job !
    On a more positive note , Alison Mitchell is excellent ! I predict that she will join the above mentioned trio in the future.
    Many thanks !

  • Comment number 16.

    Am a great fan of TMS, and have enjoyed the commentary this summer...

    could I just make one comment and that is, please can we avoid using 'general' five live sports commentators, such as Mark Saggers, Arlo White and Mark Pougatch - whilst their commentaries are fine and they quite reasonably describe the action, I do not feel they add anything extra or interesting to the action in the way the Aggers or CMJ do. Cricket is a unique sport for commentating on, due to the gaps in 'action' between deliveries and overs, and I don't think the general five live commentator mould really is a good match for radio cricket commentary. I would be really sad to see TMS lose its charm to blander sports commentary.

    anyway, just my opinion. thanks.

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm going to Lords on Sunday and taking somoene who has never been to a cricket match before. I've been encouraging them to listen to TMS. Shame Blowers is busy as I wanted them to experience his fantastic commentries. I'm hoping it won't rain as I don't like getting refunds, I like experiencing test cricket.

    Any way there is a long way to go before Sunday and I'm looking forward to all of it on TMS. There's nothing like test cricket. Thanks

  • Comment number 18.

    Dreadful news that the new guard (who by and large would be better off commentating on footie matches) have kept the brilliant Blowers out of his rightful home in the TMS box.

    Why this error in selection? It's a heinous crime. Please explain.

    At least we still have CMJ and Aggers to remind us of the days when dedicated experts appeared on TMS.

    In the interests of balance- Tuffers is shaping up well in his new role.

  • Comment number 19.

    What a formidable team of commentators.

    Best wishes to Jonathan Agnew, Christopher Martin Jenkins, Adam Mountford, Pollock, Dave Cameron, Joel Joffe, Rory Bremner, Neil Warnock, Mark Pougatch, Geoffrey Boycott, Mile Selvey, Phil Tufnell, Bill Frindall, Alison Mitchell, Pat Murphy, Alec Stewart and David Garrido.

    Looking forward to listen to Shaun Pollock and his insights.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 20.

    Listening today to TMS, it seems its unique tone is being watered down. Whilst I appreciate that Mark Pougatch is an excellent broadcaster when presenting on 5 Live, he does not have the lightness of touch required to successfully commentate on cricket. He seems to want to 'present' the programme and his approach is overpowering. I'm all for progress, Simon Mann and even Arlo White sit really well with the team and offer relaxed, knowledgeable commentary. Stick with what works.

  • Comment number 21.

    Adam, I really enjoyed the coverage from TMS today as ever.

    And I'm currently enjoying the bonus of the extra Twenty20 commentatry from Martin Hindley and Ian Dennis.

    But why isn't Neil Manthorp part of the commentary team for the series?

    He is an excellent commentator who I was really looking forward to hearing this summer. He was really good during the last SA tour hear and the world cup last year.

    The overseas commentators such as Bryan Waddle and Jim Maxwell are such a big part of TMS its a shame to miss out this series.

  • Comment number 22.

    I like Mark Pougatch. He seems to know his stuff and it's good to hear a new voice on TMS.

    Enjoyed Rory Bremner and it's great having someone like Shaun Pollock airing their views.

    Great stuff.


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